3 stars · dystopia · young adult

Above by Isla Morley

 

Above

author : isla morley

pages : [hardcover] 384

favorite character : adam

summary :

I am a secret no one is able to tell.

Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an aban­doned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in—the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Deter­mined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give mean­ing to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promis­ing and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice—between survival and freedom.

review :

I was first interested in this book because I heard it compared to Room, which I absolutely loved even though books like this are very hard to read. Room, however, started after a girl has been kidnapped and held captive for several years, while Above takes the reader through every awful step of the crime. You learn how Blythe was tricked, her reaction to her situation, her loss of hope. I have to admit that it was so devastating to read about-perhaps written so well-that I almost didn’t finish this book. I felt so sad for Blythe and from reading the summary of this book, knew she might not get the opportunity to escape her captor for years. Years. I can’t even imagine what something like that is like and don’t really want to, which is why this book was so hard to get through.

Yet it adds another interesting, terrible element on top of that because while Blythe is captive, the apocalypse occurs. Or call it whatever you will, but nothing is quite like the world as she remembered it. Though it was an interesting twist on the kidnapping story, this is where I began to get frustrated. I don’t think that the author gave herself enough time to explore her ideas thoroughly because this is a stand-alone book and most of it occurs within a confined setting, not in the outside world she is attempting to construct. By the time I felt like I had a good grip on what was happening in the world and what Blythe might do, the book was over.

I don’t think I could say I enjoyed reading this book because of all of the horrible things that happened within it, though I do think it was an interesting read. Would I recommend it? Maybe, if you’re not likely to be disturbed by the beginning. There were some fairly creepy parts in the last half of the book, though they didn’t bother me as much as Dobbs, her captor, did. Perhaps it’s easier to read about futuristic devastation than kidnapping that could happen here and now.

I do think that this book was written well though it could have been executed in a better way. I’d certainly pick up something else written by Isla Morley.

3/5 stars

Don’t forget to check out my current giveaway and  enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite!

3 stars · fiction

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

the enchanted life of adam hope

author : rhonda riley

pages : [paperback] 421

favorite character : adam

summary :

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is an unconventional and passionately romantic love story that is as breathtaking and wondrous as The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

During WWII, teenager Evelyn Roe is sent to manage the family farm in rural North Carolina, where she finds what she takes to be a badly burned soldier on their property. She rescues him, and it quickly becomes clear he is not a man…and not one of us. The rescued body recovers at an unnatural speed, and just as fast, Evelyn and Adam fall deeply in love. In The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, Rhonda Riley reveals the exhilarating, terrifying mystery inherent in all relationships: No matter how deeply we love someone, and no matter how much we will sacrifice for them, we can only know them so well…

review :

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book but I’ve been trying to read more adult fiction so I thought that this would be a good one to pick up. I read a few good reviews about it and the summary really intrigued me so I was quick to get it at my library. Unfortunately, the summary up there isn’t the same as the one in the book, or at least the version I read. That summary was much longer and basically outlined the entire book so that there was nothing surprising for me during my entire read, which frustrated me to no end. My advice to you? Read the summary up there, but not the one in the book! I don’t know if I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t already known every plot point that was going to be made.

I was also really expecting this unnatural thing with Adam to be more prevalent through the book. I wanted Evelyn to try and figure out where he’d come from and why he could do certain things. Actually, there weren’t so many things that made him immediately, noticeably different from humans, which I suppose was frustrating in itself to me. If Evelyn is so constantly freaking out about his differences and what they might mean and all, I wanted some danger that he might expose himself at any moment in some fantastic kind of way.

What I did like about the book, though, was the family dynamic in this as well as the writing style. While this book is very slow paced it is also well written, for which I was very grateful. I don’t think that this was exactly the book for me, though I’m glad that I stepped out of my normal comfort zone to try it, and I’ll definitely try something else by this author in the future to see if it was just this plot that didn’t hook me.

2.5/5 stars

5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · science fiction · series · young adult

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me

Shatter Me #2
Book 1 : Shatter Me

author tahereh mafi

pages : [hardcover] 461

memorable quote “Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.”

favorite characters : adam & kenji

summary :

tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

review :

I have waited so long to read this book! I read Shatter Me last year and it gripped me immediately; I loved the colorful and embellished writing style and couldn’t wait to read more about Juliette and Adam. At the end of book one there are so many exciting revelations that set up the sequel to be much different from what I ever could have imagined it to be when I first started reading. There were so many new, interesting characters to learn about as well as a new villain and, of course, Warner returns.

I love how the writing style has evolved as Juliette changes and grows stronger. It’s less centrally focused as she comes out of her shell and less whimsical as she’s forced to face reality for maybe the first time in her life. She’s found people who might come to accept her if she gives them the chance. I think it’s really brilliant, how Tahereh Mafi manages to pull this off so smoothly and seamlessly and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the plot at all. Unravel Me is more fast-paced than the first book. Now that everything has been set up it’s time for action and I can’t wait to see how that climaxes in the next and final book in the trilogy.

I’ve always had a thing for characters with superpowers, even more so when they’re flawed and the reader really gets to see the changes the character has to make throughout the book. As a rather shy person myself, it’s awesome having a leading lady like Juliette who is often afraid to speak for herself or offer up information even if it’s being asked for or she feels ridiculous for not speaking up. I think that having a person like her as a role model is great; even if she isn’t perfect, it’s easy to see how she’s testing the surface and making her way now as her own person.

I’d recommend this series to anyone! I love the characters so much . . even if the only complaint I have is the whole thing between Warner and Juliette, that I didn’t warm up to until near the end of the book. Other than that this book was as great and gripping as I’d hoped it would be and now I can’t wait to read more!!

5/5 stars

If you love this book, try reading Paranormalcy or The Darkest Minds!

 

4 stars · fiction · paranormal · romance · series · young adult

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys
The Raven Cycle #1

author : maggie stiefvater [also wrote: the scorpio races; shiver]

pages : 409

memorable quote “My words are unerring tools of
destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”

favorite characters : ronan & adam

summary :

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

review :

This is the third book I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater and I’m so glad that I kept trying her work! Shiver and The Scorpio Races just had little things about them that I couldn’t get over so I could enjoy the book, but The Raven Boys was fantastic! I loved the mystical setting, the mysterious predictions, the colorful cast of characters. I’m so glad that I’ve started the Raven Cycle, because now I can’t wait to read the next book!

Blue is an interesting character. I don’t know what it’d be like to know that you can’t really get close to anyone, because giving your true love a kiss will kill them. Blue’s been told that her entire life but it never really became a problem until she was old enough to become interested in boys and that’s where the store really begins. Although I really liked reading about the Raven Boys more than the chapters from Blue’s perspective, it was only from personal preference and not because there was something I truly disliked about her.

I love how I could never predict what was going to happen next! I think that this was what I really wanted to see in one of her books, something that moved at a faster pace. This took me a little while to get into but after the first third of the book I just couldn’t put it down! I really recommend this book for people who like surprises, a magical and paranormal element, and a group of characters you won’t forget!

4/5 stars

5 stars · action · dystopia · fiction · romance · science fiction · series · young adult

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me

Shatter Me #1

author : tahereh mafi

pages [hardcover] : 352

memorable quote : All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

favorite characters : juliette & adam

summary :

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

review :

I loved this book. Serious, on the edge of my seat, couldn’t breath, wanted to know what was going to happen next love. The characters were wonderful, the writing spectacular, the plot both intriguing and interesting enough to keep me hooked. I read this book in a day; that’s how completely enamored I was with the wonderful (if completely decimated) world Tahereh Mafi constructed in Shatter Me.

The writing was purely beautiful. It was filled with imagery and imaginative comparisons and beautiful descriptions, all without being over the top. The way it was narrated let me know exactly what Juliette was thinking, how she was feeling, and more. I truly felt that I could understand everything about her. Her insecurities, her aversion to touching other people, her doubts that anyone could ever like her. Yet she’s still a strong, courageous woman who knows what she believes in and will fight for what is right. Even if those people have slighted her before. That’s how you can tell when someone is a truly good person.

The love interest in the story was similarly amazing! Though we don’t get to hear all of his thoughts, obviously, the narration provides enough information about him through his actions and dialogue to make him completely, irrevocably, loveable. Okay, he’s just plain awesome.

The ending! The ending! Oh, I need the sequel now! This might be my favorite book of the year so far. That’s how much I loved every twist and turn, every breathtaking sentence and heart-pounding action scene. I loved the suspense, romance, betrayal, heartbreak . . This is one I’ll be raving about for a really, really long time. As in forever. So, I’m going to have to recommend this to everyone. Go get it! Now!

5/5 stars (and beyond!)

5 stars · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Where She Went by Gayle Foreman

Where She Went

Author : Gayle Foreman

Pages : [hardcover] : 264

Sequel to If I Stay

Memorable Quote: You don’t share me. You own me.

Favorite Characters: Adam & Mia

Summary:

It’s been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Review:

I read and quickly fell in love with If I Stay years ago. I never, ever expected a sequel, which made me sad, and when I saw that this book was actually going to exist-not just in my imaginary perfect world-I jumped for joy! I didn’t know what to expect, as I refused to read much on it before I actually picked it up, not wanting to raise my expectations to unreachable heights. That turned out to work splendidly for me, as every part of Where She Went was wonderfully different from how I pictured it could be.

I was immediately drawn into the storyline, as Adam’s and Mia’s lives have changed so drastically from the end of the first books. Three years have passed, and they’ve grown up, each starting to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives and acting upon it. The pages seemed to fly by, and before I knew it, the book was finished.

I love the writing style of this book, full of imagery and great detail. I could really picture everything that was going on, as well as see how Adam was feeling and know exactly why he was feeling that way. The descriptive prose was really touching, and it wasn’t in large, daunting paragraphs that are hard to swallow, rather concise sentences.

I really loved Where She Went. It was a fantastic book that continues the story and fought its way into my heart. I know that fans of the first book will like this sequel, and newcomers should start with If I Stay, or else risk being completely lost. I give this book 5/5 stars.